Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO informs that thanks to the persistent efforts of the organization’s legal team, as well as increasing public visibility of the case and a number of letters addressed to the RA state bodies, the RA Investigative Committee has returned the 27,000 USD seized from the trans woman.

As we previously reported, on July 27 of this year, a trans woman alerted the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO. She reported that the police were conducting a search of her apartment on suspicion of illegal drug trafficking. The police seized the trans woman’s personal cell phones and $27,000 in cash in the apartment, which the trans woman had accumulated through years of sex work.

Although no drugs were found in the trans person’s apartment and she has only the status of a witness in the criminal case, for months the Investigative Committee did not return the phones and money seized from her, depriving her of the right to manage her property and leaving her without the necessary means of living. On July 28, the legal team of Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO submitted a petition to the Investigative Committee regarding the return of the property, in addition, Lilit Martirosyan, the founder, and president of the Right Side NGO, raised the alarm about the incident on her Facebook page, as a result of which publications were posted on several news websites. In addition to this, letters were sent by the organization to various state bodies of RA, urging to keep this case in the center of attention and calling for an impartial investigation in criminal cases related to Trans and LGBTQ persons, to refrain from any form of discrimination and to return the money and mobile phones confiscated from the trans woman as soon as possible, restoring her right to manage her property.

On October 6 of this year, the Investigative Committee, not finding any illegal behavior in the trans woman’s actions, returned the money and property confiscated from her for over two months. 

Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO will continue to do everything to protect the rights of Trans and LGBIQ sex workers, focusing on criminal cases involving these and other Trans and LGBIQ individuals, consistently documenting and collecting cases of discrimination about them speaking out both national and internationally until justice is restored.

October 12, 2023 Armenia, Yerevan

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